RWM – River City Roots Festival and 4-Mile Run

The River City Roots (RCR) run is a fun, yet challenging four-mile jaunt through downtown Missoula and the lower Rattlesnake Valley, including Greenough Park, which comes on the heels of Run Wild Missoula’s signature event, the Missoula Marathon.

Like the Missoula Marathon, the RCR run began in 2007 and will be celebrating its seventh annual running this summer. This year’s race is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 25th and it starts at 9:30 a.m. on Alder Street, not far from the giant red XXXXs.

Run Wild Missoula members are encouraged to sign up this week online at so that they can take advantage of both their membership discount and the early registration fee. The run costs $21, but goes up to $28 on Monday, Aug. 12. Participants receive a T-shirt with registration and drink tokens, which can be redeemed at the Roots Festival for those 21 and older.

The two-day musical festival, coupled with the return of students for classes at the University of Montana, has proven to be a huge draw for Missoula and its vibrant downtown. Missoula’s running community is lucky to be a part of the fun.

The RCR run continues to grow each year and once again we are offering cash prizes to the top five male and female finishers ($300-first, $175, $125, $100 and $50). The top overall placer – and one random participant – will also win a weekend retreat to the Kwa Taq Nuk Resort & Casino in Polson.

Every year before the River City Roots Festival the Missoulian puts out a special tab outlining all of the neat-o events that surround the two-day music festival. This year, I wrote a runner profile of the 2010 RCR run winner Dominic Smargiassi for Run Wild Missoula’s contribution to the insert.

Smargiassi won that year’s 4-mile fun run in a time of 19 minutes, 46.23 seconds, which still stands as the fastest time ever recorded at the RCR run. Smargiassi ran a very tough race against some quality competition – three other runners finished in under 20 minutes – which got us at RWM thinking about what kind of runner it would take to break that mark.

Most top flight runners know that the RCR run offers cash prizes to the top five male and female finishers, but we started to think ‘What if we offered an additional prize to the runner that establishes a new time to beat in their respective gender?’ We were thinking of making it a progressive pot, which means the prize monies would continue to grow each summer if no man or woman breaks the old records.

Now, it might take some time to grow the jackpot, especially if we started at let’s say $50 a year, but it could be a nice incentive for the race in the future. As members, we want to know what you think?

And keeping with our sneak peak of the upcoming RCR run, here’s what Smargiassi said about the added perk.

“That would be awesome,” he said. “I live out in Seattle and we have something out here called The Roadie Run, which is a 12k and there’s a $1,000 prize for the winner, I think.

What happens is, you get every top runner from the Seattle area in this race and you get about 10 guys fighting for (the money). The progressive pot would be awesome; you’re improving a time and improving a time and eventually the time gets down to like 19 minutes (for the RCR). We could’ve gone faster my year, but you get to that point where people are just pushing it the whole way. And with faster times you get harder times to beat and harder pots to win. Until one day some Kenyan shows up to try and win that pot.”

Run Wild Missoula has capped this year’s race at 600 competitors. A year ago, 450 runners signed up for the Roots run. Don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy one of Missoula’s biggest events. If you have questions about the race, or would like to volunteer, please contact race director Nick Lockridge via RWM’s website.

Nick Lockridge, RWM Intern and River City Roots Race Director


Individual winners
Year Runner Age Time
2012 Jimmy Grant 34 19:49.60
2011 Brett Carter 23 19:46.80
2010 Dominic Smargiassi 23 19:46.23
2009 Duncan Hendrick 23 20:30.49
2008 Brian Shonebarger 24 20:47.71
2007 Jason Walker 29 19:55.00

Year Runner   Age Time
2012 Kara DeWalt 24 22:33.20
2011 Sue Huse         37 23:02.90
2010 Sue Huse 36 22:54.00
2009 Courtney Babcock 37 22:54.07
2008 Andrea Grove-McDonough 35 22:47.04
2007 Andrea Grove-McDonough 34 22:13.00

Top 15 fastest times posted at RCR
Order Runner Year         Time
1. Dominic Smargiassi . 2010 19:46.23
2. Brett Carter 2011 19:46.80
3. Jim Rucker 2010 19:48.31
4. Jimmy Grant 2012 19:49.60
5. Chad Portwood 2010 19:52.27
6. Brian Shonebarger 2010 19:55.26
7. Jason Walker 2007 19:55.00
8. Evan Sims 2011 19:58.10
9. Adam Peterman 2012 20:01.60
10. Evan Sims 2010 20:10.00
11. Nick Mosey 2011 20:16.40
12. Jimmy Grant 2010 20:21.00
13. Evan Sims 2012 20:23.60
14. Collin Fehr         2011 20:27.70
15. Duncan Hendrick 2009 20:30.49
Others: Brendan Halpin 2011 20:36.30
            Caleb Deitz 2011 20:39.40

Order Runner Year         Time
1. Andrea Grove-McDonough 2007 22:13.00
2. Kara DeWalt 2012 22:33.20
3. Andrea Grove-McDonough 2008 22:47.04
4. Sue Huse         2010 22:54.00
5. Courtney Babcock 2009 22:54.07
6. Sue Huse         2011 23:02.90
7. Katrina Fehr 2012 23:06.00
8. Meg Lerch 2010 23:09.00
9. Meg Lerch 2009 23:11.70
10. Nicole Hunt 2009 23:18.36
11. Makena Morley 2011 23:31.50
12. Meg Lerch 2008 23:31.59
13. Jessica Johnson 2010 23:34.00
14. Makena Morley 2010 23:36.00
15. Rye Palen 2010 23:38.00
15t. Allie Brosh 2009 23:38.53
Others: Jessica Johnson 2012 23:43.50
           Sue Huse 2009 23:47.37

Number of participants
2012- 387
2011- 343
2010- 376
2009- 329
2008- 303
2007- 299


1. Jimmy Grant         19:49.6
2. Adam Peterman 20:01.6
3. Evan Sims 20:23.6
4. James Rucker 20:51.5
5. Collin Fehr 21:14.3
6. Chris Herrick 22:04.3
7. Andy Drobeck 22:40.6
8. Marvin Speece 23:08.0
9. Tyler Johnson 23:15.4
10. Mark Kindred 23:50.9

1. Kara DeWalt 22:33.2
2. Trisha Drobeck 22:40.4
3. Katrina Fehr         23:06.0
4. Jessica Johnson 23:43.5
5. Paige Gilchrist 23:56.0
6. Lindsay Thane      24:43.8
7. Darr Tucknott 25:08.9
8. Mary Thane 25:59.8
9. Sabrina Sterbis 26:15.6
10. Cassondra Hughes 26:59.7


Who: Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities
When: Sunday, Aug. 25th
      Start time – 9:30 a.m.
Where: Downtown Missoula
      Starting line – Montana Rail Link pavilion (Alder St.)
      Finish – Riverfront trail near Caras Park
Cost: $28, includes a T-shirt and Roots Festival drink tokens (for those 21 and older)
Same-day registration from 7-9 a.m. at the MRL pavilion (near the red XXXXs).
Web: For additional information about the run visit RWM here and for info about the festival click here.

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